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20.07.2007 12:40

"Barça will fight to win everything"

Sergi Nogueras

Gabriel Milito has proven himself to be one of the best defenders oin the world and now he is delighted to have joined FC Barcelona.

In an interview with Barça TV, he explains his hopes and desires after moving to the club as well as talking about being compared to Carles Puyol, the other new players at the club and facing his brother again as an opponents. Milito is due to return to Argentina for a well-deserved break, before heading back to join up with his new team-mates.

Have you joined at the best moment in your career?

"Yes, I am in great form. I think that this move has come at the most important time in my career. I wanted to do this to help me grow as a player and to come to this club. Everything was put in place to make this happen and I am very pleased to be being presented here and am enjoying it. I think I am in great shape now. I have a lot of experience in the Spanish league after four years with Real Zaragoza and I think that will help me a lot for the future."

What are you hoping for from this new chapter?

"I only want the best. When one joins a new club, as grand and as prestigious as Barcelona, it is exciting and you only think about doing your best. My dream for this first season is that it is a great year for everyone and that we can win everything we want and also that we enjoy it and that the fans enjoy it too and we play as a team."

You have a new challenge in your first Champions League campaign.

qm3d9967.jpg"Yes, I really wanted to play in a competition as important as the Champions League. I have not been lucky enough to play in it before and this will be my first year, my first experience of it, and I know that one of the club's aims is to win it and we will all have to be at our best to strive to make that happen. It is a long and difficult road, but I believe that if we are all giving it everything then anything can happen."

You have been compared to Carles Puyol for your physical appearances and style of play. In what way do you think you are similar and also how are you different?

"I do not know if I really look like him or not. What I do know that it is flattering to be compared to him because he is one of the best defenders around and I think he is an example for the team and for the fans to follow. I think that Puyol is the team leader and to be compared to him is an honour. But if I am really similar, I do not know."

Puyol is recovering from an injury, but Rafael Márquez, Lilian Thuram and Éric Abidal are all vying for a place in the team. The competitionn is strong.

"Yes, the squad is very competitive as there are players of such great quality who can all play. But only 11 players can be named in the team and the coach has to decide who they are. What is great is that we will all be giving our best for the sake of the team. By doing that the competition among us will increase and the team will really benefit."

What do you think about the other new arrivals?

"I think that players like Henry, as well as Touré and Abidal, bring great experience and their quality and that, obviously, along with the players that are already here makes this team very competitive. We will probably fight for every trophy. To promise titles and cups is difficult, but I can promise you that the team will be giving everything to achieve these ambitions."

Barça are well nown to playing attacking football, while their opponents look to use the counter-attack. Is it more difficult to defend against that?

Militobarcatv1.jpg"In defence you always have to be attentive. I have the experience of playing for Argentina, who also have an offensive mentality and play similarly to Barcelona now. I know what it means to play with an advanced defence, but I think if you are well-positioned then the risks are not so great. The key is to be focussed, well-placed and to have good communication among the back four, especially when the team has the ball. If we can do then the danger will be reduced considerably."

It is your first experience in one of European football's major clubs. What extra pressure does that bring and do you think your experience with Argentina will help?

"I have seen from the outside what Barcelona is about and have seen what is means. Now I am going to experiencing all that on the inside and will be relishing the opportunity because it is a reall great thing to be able to play for this club. Now I am going to start to feel everything that I have seen and heard on the outside and feel what it all means."

Have you been able to talk to Frank Rijkaard yet?

"I have not been able to talk to him. I was playing in the Copa América and then travelled here straight after and it was all very quick. I have just arrived and will now be heading back to Argentina for some holiday and then I will return and have my first contact with him and the team."

How much influence did Lionel Messi's presence at Barça have on your decision to join?

Obviously, it is always important to have friends in the team. Especially if they are your compatriots too. That truth is that Leo talked to me about the possibility and he spurred me on. From there the possibility of coming grew, with a little luck, and I was lucky enough to be able to complete the move. There were two very difficult days when there was a great deal of uncertainty, but in the end it all turned out well. and it is a privilege to be playing the same team as Lei. Not only with him, but also with all the other players that have such great quality."

Your first game in Camp Nou could be in the Joan Gamper Trophy against Inter.

qm3d9944.jpg"Yes, indeed. Now I feel like having a rest after a very long season, but I am also excited about the prospect of playing my first game in a Barça shirt. I am excited because it will be an incredible moment to make my debut and I know that I will be slightly anxious. But patience is the key and it will come along and I have to be ready to sieze the opportunity."

You have scored one goal in each of the last two season and on both occasions it was in the Camp Nou. Do you feel more motivated when playing there?

"I think it was just coincidence. I had the chance to score when it came along, but I hope to be able to score more goals at Camp Nou."

Now you will be facing your brother, who is one of the top scorers in Spain, once more. This happened in Argentina too.

"We already played against each other in Argentina in important games between two big rivals. Hopefully this year we will have the chance to repeat that because apart from being opponents, I enjoy the experience. We will have to wait and see if we both can play when our team are due to meet."
“Barça will fight to win everything“

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'With Milito, the number 12'
The complete interview with Gabriel Milito will be show on Barça TV in a segment called 'With Milito, the number 12'. The programme will be aired on Saturday at 13:00, 17:00 and 21:30 and again on Sunday at 16:00 and 19:00.

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